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The Heiress ()


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A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

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Awards:
  • Won 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations.
  • See more »
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Cast verified as complete

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Catherine Sloper
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Morris Townsend
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Dr. Austin Sloper
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Lavinia Penniman
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Maria
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Mrs. Montgomery
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Jefferson Almond
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Marian Almond
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Elizabeth Almond
Paul Lees ...
Arthur Townsend
Harry Antrim ...
Mr. Abeel
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Quintus
David Thursby ...
Geier
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nan Boardman ...
French Maid (uncredited)
Jack Chefe ...
French Waiter (uncredited)
Marcel De la Brosse ...
French Porter (uncredited)
Ray De Ravenne ...
French Waiter (uncredited)
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Groom (uncredited)
Arthur Dulac ...
French Bellboy (uncredited)
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Dr. Isaacs (uncredited)
Sam Harris ...
Party Guest (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ...
Fish Peddler (uncredited)
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Dr. Sloper's Secretary (uncredited)
Sherri Morse ...
Little Girl (uncredited)
Una Mortished ...
Chambermaid (uncredited)
Harry Pipe ...
Mr. Gebhardt (uncredited)
Albert Pollet ...
French Porter (uncredited)
Loulette Sablon ...
French Maid (uncredited)
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Captain of the Castle Queen (uncredited)
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Minister (uncredited)
Bobby Taylor ...
Little Boy (uncredited)
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Delivery Woman (uncredited)

Directed by

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William Wyler

Written by

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Ruth Goetz ... (written for the screen by) and
Augustus Goetz ... (written for the screen by)
 
Ruth Goetz ... (from the play "The Heiress"by) and
Augustus Goetz ... (from the play "The Heiress"by)
 
Henry James ... (suggested by the novel "Washington Square" by)

Produced by

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Lester Koenig ... associate producer
Robert Wyler ... associate producer
William Wyler ... producer

Music by

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Aaron Copland

Cinematography by

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Leo Tover ... director of photography

Film Editing by

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William Hornbeck ... (edited by)

Production Design by

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Harry Horner ... (production designed by)

Art Direction by

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John Meehan
Harry Horner ... (uncredited)

Set Decoration by

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Emile Kuri ... (uncredited)

Costume Design by

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Edith Head ... (costumes)

Makeup Department

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Wally Westmore ... makeup supervisor
Hal Lierley ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Lenore Weaver ... hair stylist (uncredited)
William Woods ... makeup artist (uncredited)

Production Management

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Charles Woolstenhulme ... production manager (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Charles C. Coleman ... assistant director (as C.C. Coleman Jr.)

Sound Department

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Leon Becker ... sound supervisor
John Cope ... sound recordist
Hugo Grenzbach ... sound recordist

Visual Effects by

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Gordon Jennings ... special photographic effects

Camera and Electrical Department

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Haskell B. Boggs ... camera operator (uncredited)
Earl Crowell ... gaffer (uncredited)
Irv Newmeyer ... grip (uncredited)
Irving Newmeyer ... grip (uncredited)
G.E. Richardson ... still photographer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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Gile Steele ... wardrobe: men
Joan Joseff ... costume jeweller (uncredited)

Music Department

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Aaron Copland ... conductor (uncredited)
Louis Kaufman ... musician: violin (uncredited)
Van Cleave ... orchestrator (uncredited)

Other crew

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Josephine Earl ... dance coach (uncredited)
Harry F. Hogan ... script supervisor (uncredited)
Ronnie Lubin ... script supervisor (uncredited)
Susan Lyman ... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

In the mid-1800's, the wealthy Sloper family - widowed surgeon Dr. Austin Sloper, his adult daughter Catherine Sloper (Dr. Sloper's only surviving child), and Dr. Sloper's recently widowed sister Lavinia Penniman - live in an opulent house at 16 Washington Square, New York City. They have accrued their wealth largely through Dr. Sloper's hard work. Despite the lessons that Dr. Sloper has paid for in all the social graces for her, Catherine is a plain, simple, awkward and extremely shy woman who spends all her free time alone doing embroidery when she is not doting on her father. Catherine's lack of social charm and beauty - unlike her deceased mother - is obvious to Dr. Sloper, who hopes that Lavinia will act as her guardian in becoming more of a social person, and ultimately as chaperon if Catherine were ever to meet the right man. The first man ever to show Catherine any attention is the handsome Morris Townsend, who she met at a family party. Catherine is initially uncertain as to Morris' intentions, never having been called on before by a gentleman, but she quickly falls in love with him, as he does with her. They plan to be married. Being a romantic, Lavinia does whatever she can to advance their relationship. However, Dr. Sloper does not trust Morris, believing him to be a fortune hunter who is only interested in Catherine for her sizable inheritance. His beliefs are strengthened after a candid discussion with Morris' sister, Mrs. Montgomery. Dr. Sloper does whatever he can to prevent the two from getting married - the entire reason for his disapproval which he does not fully disclose to either Catherine or Morris - including taking Catherine away for an extended European vacation. Ultimately, incidents with both her father and Morris permanently change Catherine's view of life. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines When a Woman Loves a Man . . . She Doesn't Want to Know the Truth About Him ! See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • L'héritière (France)
  • Die Erbin (Germany)
  • La heredera (Spain)
  • Arvingen (Denmark)
  • Dziedziczka (Poland)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 115 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $2,600,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

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Trivia Montgomery Clift was so unhappy with his performance, he walked out of the Premiere. See more »
Goofs Technically what Catherine is doing is not embroidery, it is needle point, even in those days it was called needlepoint. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to William Wyler (1976). See more »
Soundtracks Plaisir d'amour (The Joys of Love) See more »
Quotes Aunt Penniman: Can you be so cruel?
Catherine Sloper: Yes, I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters.
See more »

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